True Belonging: Men Around the Bonfire

A Men's Retreat with Tom McGee and Richard Palmer

"True belonging doesn't require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are."

                                                      --Brene Brown



March 15-17, 2019

Friday, March 15, 5 pm


Sunday, March 17, 12 noon

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Camp Whittier 
2400 Highway 154
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Driving Directions 
Note: the driving directions above are incorrect.  For correct driving directions, click on the "RETREAT FAQS" link to the right.


If you would like to provide support to this work and to men who need financial aid to attend,




Tom McGee


Richard Palmer



Visit Our Website:

Men's Healing Work


Visit our Facebook Group:

Voyage Into Masculine Soul Community



Dinner on Friday

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner on Saturday

Breakfast on Sunday


Bring sleeping bag and pillow.








In this time of increasing chaos and disconnection, there is a desperate call for belonging.  

The wounded boy sacrifices himself by seeking approval.

A man who is willing to brave the wilderness of his deep self begins to encounter others who, like himself, are risking authenticity for true belonging.

This retreat offers the opportunity to experience the deep authentic self in community and brotherhood.

Please join us on this sacred masculine journey as we come together in brotherhood and true belonging.



The group will be limited to 25 men to allow for maximum participation and interaction.  We encourage early registration to ensure a spot at the retreat and to access the lower early registration fee.

RETREAT FEES:                                       

STANDARD RETREAT FEE: $575--Full payment by February 15, 2019

DEPOSIT: $175; holds your spot; full payment due by February 15, 2019

LATE REGISTRATION: $675; after February 15, 2019; final registration deadline is March 8, 2019

This retreat continues the work in the Voyage into Masculine Soul. Together we will:
  • Deepen our sense of belonging
  • Approach this work through poetry, storytelling, guided exercises, discussion, and ceremony.  
  • Endeavor to bring out the best in each man and have it honored by the other men.  

This retreat will be held at Camp Whittier in the mountains behind Santa Barbara, CA.  We will be on 55 acres of land populated by oaks and deer, not far from Lake Cachuma.  Camp Whittier provides bunk style accomodations and meals prepared by their on-site chef.  We will have access to a wood-paneled lodge and outdoor fire pits.  This promises to be an ideal setting for open, honest communication in an environment of physical and emotional safety.

 RETREAT FAQS: for more details on the site and the retreat

Tom McGee and Richard Palmer are dedicated to helping men develop the wisdom and maturity that is their potential.  We have been working with men in groups and individually for over twenty years, assisting them in growing into healthy relationships and fulfilling lives. This retreat is a continuation of the "Healing the Boy, Strengthening the Man" and "Voyage into Masculine Soul" retreats that is the culmination of all of our work.  In this retreat, we will be focusing almost exclusively on the Man, who is growing into his full masculine identity.


This poem conveys the essence of this retreat:



What if every strategic move 

the boy made from the underground fort 

of his heart's protection -- was not true?

What if the wind that whistled shrill

through the treewes

and the shadows that reached out for him 

with claw like fingers,


would one day be his friends?


What if the mute fawn

hiding in a thicket of sage and willows

would one day discover the mawciulinge thrill

of antlered speech?


What if the loneliness that 

for so many years

wrapped around

his bony shoulders

like a blanket of ice


would one day crack open

into a wild tribe of brothers

singing around a blazing fire

of homecoming?


What if it were true

that you belong here?


What if it were true?


Richard Palmer

from Grandfather Roots